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Panthers Win Both Ends of Opening Day Doubleheader

The Florida Tech softball team was in midseason form on Thursday against Lynn, getting a 22-3 victory in game one and followed that up with a nail-biter in game two, a 2-1 victory at Nancy Bottge Field.

Game two featured a surprising ending that saw Lynn have a potential game-winning home run taken off the board. More on that later. 

Jordan Lawlis pitched three innings in game one, allowing two runs on two hits over three innings. She walked one and struck out five, throwing 44 of her 64 pitches for strikes. Raychel Trocki finished things up with two innings of relief, allowing one run on one hit.

Cheyenne Nelson was 4-for-5 on the day with six RBIs, and three runs scored. She wasted no time getting the Panthers on the board with a leadoff home run. That was the first of nine runs the Panthers would score in the inning.

The Panthers knocked Lynn pitching around to the tune of 20 hits. Mikayla Wessel had a 1-for-4 day with two RBIs and four runs scored. Tina Velazquez Rolon was a cool 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Chloe French was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Jenna Hornsby had one at-bat off the bench, and hit her first homer as a Panther, a three-run shot.

Nelson’s dinger was just the beginning in a nine-run frame that included a fielder’s choice by Victoria Szrom, a 2-run single by French off the glove of Lynn pitcher Allyson Jameston that put the Panthers up 4-0. Nelson’s two-run single later in the inning gave them a 6-0 lead. After a pitching change, an error led to another run. Another error led to another run and Szrom would knock in the ninth run with a single.

The onslaught continued in the second inning with a five-run inning that included an RBI for Nelson and a 2-run single by Wessel. Velazquez had an RBI double and Mikayla Lewin singled to score Velazquez Rolon. It was the first hit for Lewin in her Panther career and it was 14-0 Florida Tech.

The only blemish against Lawlis came in the third inning when Emily Yakel touched them all with Brittney Davis scoring ahead of her,  making it 14-2. Nelson’s RBI double got one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame with an RBI double.

Hornsby’s three-run bomb made it 18-2 in the fourth, her first hit in a Florida Tech uniform. Peyton Anders RBI single made it 19-2 and Nelson followed with one of her own, making it 20-2. Freshman Mya Ogbodiewg capped the scoring for the Panthers with a two-run double to left.

For more info: Lynn @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 1)

Game two saw junior Samantha Guider get the start in the circle. She gave the Panthers four good innings allowing six hits but keeping the Fighting Knights off the board. She left a scoreless game, earning her a no-decision. Velazquez Rolon pitched the final three innings, snatching a win from what looked like a potential loss.

This game was the polar opposite of game one, with the first run coming in the sixth inning. Lynn starting pitcher Faith Miller got the visitors on the board with an RBI single off of Velazquez Rolon, giving the Fighting Knights a 1-0 lead.

The Panthers (2-0) got the offense going in the bottom of the inning, and it was a familiar face with Nelson getting a single and stealing second. Wessel singled and she went to second on the throw that was late at third, as Nelson slid in safely. Consecutive sac flies by Velazquez Rolon and Szrom gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

Lynn (0-2) started the top of the seventh with an infield single by Olivia Pope. That brought Grasy Gomez to the plate and you could tell Pope was ready to steal. She took off for second as Gomez took a mighty swing. She launched the ball over the wall, and that put Lynn back on top 3-2 until it didn’t.

Pope was called out for leaving first base early, prior to the Gomez swing. Lynn head coach Jill Moore did not put up much of a visible argument and you could tell by her reaction after the ball left the yard, that she knew it was going to be wiped out.

Pope went back to the dugout and Gomez was forced to bat again. She drew a walk, but Velazquez Rolon got out of the inning and the Panthers ended the day with a 2-0 record.

For more info: Lynn @ Florida Tech Box Score (Game 2)

These two teams will meet again Friday for another doubleheader in Boca Raton. Game one will begin at 12:00.